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Today, cloud-native email security platform Abnormal Security it has raised $210 million as part of a series C funding round, bringing the company’s valuation to $4 billion. Abnormal Security’s customer base has grown by 270% and includes companies such as Xerox, Hitachi Vantara, Urban Outfitters, Groupon, Royal Caribbean International and Auto Club Group-AAA. 

Abnormal Security’s solution is deployed via API and is designed to detect social engineering attempts and malicious emails that traditional email gateways miss, with automated email triaging, remediation and reporting. 

For enterprises, Abnormal provides a potential solution to email-based attacks, such as Business Email Compromise (BEC) attempts, that have historically proved difficult to mitigate with traditional security controls alone. 

Stopping manipulators with AI 

The announcement comes as phishing attempts and BEC attacks have increased across the board, with 83% of organizations saying they experienced a successful email-based phishing attack in 2021, versus 57% in 2020.

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These attacks have increased because cybercriminals recognize that many organizations don’t have the defenses to stop them. 

“Modern attacks, including business email compromise, supply chain compromise, account takeovers and more, are difficult to detect. Because they typically contain no traditional indicators of compromise, they evade legacy email security solutions like the secure email gateway (SEG),” said Abnormal Security’s CEO, Evan Reiser. 

“Legacy SEGs overly complicate email security and impose a significant operational burden on security teams,” Reiser said. 

Abnormal Security’s answer to these challenges is to use AI to identify anomalous email messages, spot malicious actors and block them before they can cause any damage. It’s an approach that doesn’t rely on trusting busy employees to have the security awareness to detect phishing threats independently. 

The global email security market 

Abnormal Security is part of the growing global email security market, which researchers anticipate will reach a value of $6.8 billion by 2025 as the demand for phishing intelligence increases and more enterprises deploy email security platforms to get social engineering threats under control. 

One of the organization’s main competitors is Proofpoint, which most recently announced revenue of $308.7 million in the second quarter of last year. Proofpoint provides an email security and protection solution that uses machine learning and real-time analytics to analyze and sandbox malicious emails. 

Another competitor is Mimecast, a cloud cybersecurity service for email which can scan URLs in real-time to detect malicious content, identify malware attachments with antiviruses, conduct static file analysis and behavioral sandboxing. Mimecast announced raising $147.2 million in revenue in the 2nd quarter of 2022. 

As a provider, Abnormal Security is trying to differentiate itself from competitors through the use of behavioral AI. 

“While our competitors leverage static rules and policies-based approaches that solely evaluate known bad indicators of compromise, Abnormal uses behavioral AI to baseline known good user behavior and precisely detect anomalies,” Reiser said. 

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